Are Jigsaw Puzzles Educational

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Submitted By sumangill2010
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Pages 4
Are Jigsaw Puzzles Educational? Many companies advertise their products as being educational. How much of this terminology is sales promotion and jargon, and how much is fact?
As an educator for many years, I can say with authority, that there is educational value in all types of jigsaw puzzles. The skills acquired and practiced in completing jigsaw puzzles are a foundational part of successful learning. Doing jigsaw puzzles develops several functions of the brain simultaneously as a child has fun and also learns. Most notably developed in this learning process are the abilities to reason, deduce, analyze, sequence, and develop logical thought and problem solving skills. Physically, eye-hand coordination and spatial awareness are also required to complete a jigsaw puzzle.
Putting these benefits aside, I want to look particularly at the jigsaw puzzles that are labeled “Educational”. These puzzles are designed to teach a specific learning objective. Some examples of these might be a jigsaw puzzle map of the world, or of the solar system. The manufacturers claim that such puzzles will teach a child those specific facts. What educational value in reality do these types of puzzles contain? Firstly the degree of the educational value of these types of puzzles is dependant on how the puzzles are used in the learning process. For example, let us suppose that the learning objective is to learn about the geography of the United States of America, specifically the position of the individual states. You buy a puzzle picturing all the states and their position in the country, and give it to the child to do. Will the child ace a test on the States? Probably not! I’m sure that some learning will take place, but it will be limited and a few weeks later very little of the learning would be retained. To the child the learning process of doing that puzzle would be similar to…...

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